• The National WWII Museum Blog
dividing bar

Home Front Friday: Carnival in Wartime

dividing bar

Home Front Friday is a regular series that highlights the can do spirit on the Home Front during World War II and illustrates how that spirit is still alive today!

Living in New Orleans, it’s difficult to imagine a Mardi Gras without parades. However, for New Orleanians living during World War II, that nightmare became a reality! The first Mardi Gras Day after the attack on Pearl Harbor came on Tuesday, February 17, 1942. Though many of the floats had been built and the parades had been planned, the festivities were cancelled in the wake of the war declaration. The resources needed to put on the parades were simply too costly for the war effort.

Instead, New Orleanians had to find other ways to celebrate. On March 9, 1943, the Retailers for Victory Committee, chaired by Leon Godchaux, Jr., decided to hold a carnival for war bonds. Operating at the 800 block of Canal Street, the Carnival Day Bond Drive raised $1,192,000 in bonds.

carnival war bonds

During the war years of 1942-1945, official Mardi Gras parades and celebrations in New Orleans were canceled. For March 9th, 1943, the Retailers for Victory Committee, chaired by Leon Godchaux, Jr. , organized a special Carnival Day Bond Drive and celebration in the 800 block of Canal Street. The block was roped off and admission was sold in the form of war bonds. More than 25,000 people were on hand to hear the headlining Higgins Industries’ Band perform along with nationally known singer, Lanny Ross. The event raised $1,192,000 in bonds. From the Collection of The National WWII Museum.


Luckily, the parades have resumed! But Mardi Gras in New Orleans can leave you with tons of leftover beads. So why not turn them into an art project? There are thousands of ways that you can re-purpose your old beads – you can glue them to anything! – but for today, we would like to show you how to make a simple, beautiful bead mosaic.

What you’ll need:

  • A cardboard backing for your project
  • A design (we used our logo)
  • Hot glue gun
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • Beads!

1. Draw your design on a foam board or cardboard. We chose our Museum’s logo!
2. Begin gluing your beads down! Beads come in all shapes and sizes, so don’t be afraid to experiment with different ones. Be careful not to burn yourself!
3. Once you are all finished, you can display your masterpiece anywhere!

Posted by Katie Atkins, Education Intern and Lauren Handley, Assistant Director of Education for Public Programs at The National WWII Museum.

dividing bar
  • Posted :
  • Post Category :
  • Tags :
  • Follow responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

Leave a Reply

  • (Your email address will not be published.)
dividing bar